Full Moon

Full Moon in Khao Lak

Full Moon

Find out why Full Moon is so important

พระจันทร์เต็มดวง

What is the Full Moon?

Full moon is when the moon is on exactly the opposite side of the Earth as the Sun. An easier way to think about this is that they are all directly lined up with the Earth in the middle. This happens approximately every 29.5 days. This is when the moon is at its brightest. There are three main reasons the Full Moon is important for us in Khao Lak & Thailand in general.

3 Reasons the Full Moon is important for Khao Lak?

Scuba Diving

The main reason the Full Moon affects Scuba Diving is because of its effects on the tides. As the Moon is on the opposite side of the Earth to the Sun, they are both having a gravitational effect on the oceans and both pull in opposite directions. This makes the difference in tidal shifts much larger. This is also know as ‘Spring tide’. Not because of the season, but because the water ‘springs’ more than usual. For Scuba Diving this is important because High Tidal shifts can mean strong currents. The Similan Islands can have strong currents so inexperienced Scuba Divers may want to take this into account.Big Eye Trevally Similan Islands Photo by: Rob License: CC BY-ND 2.0

Strong currents can be fun for experienced & athletic Scuba Divers in the Similan Islands. The feeding frenzies and fish hunting action can be much greater. Less experienced divers should probably practice in calmer waters first. The First & Third Quarter Moons (also known as Half Moons) are when the Moon, Earth and Sun are at a 90 degree angle. When this happens the lesser gravitational pull from the Sun works to slightly negate the greater pull from the moon. This creates a smaller tidal shift (neap tide) and therefore less current. Anyone planning to go Scuba Diving in the Similan Islands should take the Lunar calendar and Full Moon into account when planning a trip.

Buddhist Holidays

Buddhist holidays use the Lunar calendar and not the Gregorian Calendar. This basically means they fall on a different date each year as they are dependent on the cycle of the moon. The Buddhist holidays of Visaka Bucha, Makha Bucha & Asala Bucha are all Thai National Holidays and all occur on a Full Moon. Pavarana and Loy Krathong (the most picturesque festival in Thailand) are not National Holidays but also fall on the day of a Full Moon. So if you are in Thailand on the date of a Full Moon then the chances are that something is going on.

Parties!

Thailand has an internationally famous Party called the ‘Full Moon Party’. It is most popular (by a long way) on ‘Haad Rin’ in Koh Phang Ngan. Thousands of tourists turn up every month to Party on this one beach.Full Moon Party at Koh Phang Ngan Photo by: Joe Stump License: CC BY 2.0

Although Koh Phang Ngan is the original, many places in Thailand have tried to join in on its success. Even in Khao Lak you can see a few posters around for bars doing their very own Full Moon Party. If you find one then they can be good fun. But, if you really want to see it, you need to visit Phang Ngan.

Full Moon in Khao Lak

Title Photo by: John Spade License: CC BY 2.0

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